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Tai Chi, Meditation, and Breathing


In Tai chi we regulate the body with attention to Substantial and Insubstantial, Rotation, and coordination by leading from the dan tien. To achieve the meditation benefits of tai chi, we learn how to regulate our breathing. Front to back, side to side and up & down breathing is known as 360 Breathing. The lungs fill to just 80% capacity and the goal is for the breathing to work in harmony with the movements of the body. The ultimate goal of regulating breathing is for it to become natural and for no regulation to be needed. This is not to say that 360 breathing is exactly the same for every person. It is very personal.


Breathing should be:

Slow - Uniform - Calm - Continuous - Soft - Slender - Deep - Long.


360 Breathing is a profound method of breathing that entails harnessing your breath to foster expansion in both your rib cage and abdomen. It incorporates diaphragmatic breathing and goes just a couple of tweaks further: instead of using your chest, you focus on using your diaphragm to breathe.


In this practice, the diaphragm takes center stage as it contracts downward, generating intra-abdominal pressure and facilitating expansion through the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor. The technique itself calls for a profound level of mindfulness, enabling individuals to channel their focus inward, unlocking a gateway to improved well-being.


360-degree breathing is composed of three parts:


1. Diaphragmatic Breathing: At the core of our breathing lies the diaphragm, a substantial muscle positioned at the base of the lungs. With every inhalation, this vital muscle undergoes a contracting and flattening process, causing the chest cavity to expand. As this unfolds, a vacuum effect is generated, drawing air into the lungs. During exhalation, the diaphragm eases back to its original form, guiding the expulsion of air from our lungs.


2. Rib Cage Expansion: When you take in a breath of air, you should see your chest expand (that is where your lungs are located, after all) and ribs move out to the side.


3. Back Body Expansion: This is the third part of the 360 breathing technique.

By embracing this deep breathing approach, practitioners aspire to attain a heightened sense of bodily awareness, fostering a connection between mind, breath, and body. Its increasing popularity is underscored by its potential benefits, ranging from stress reduction and enhanced relaxation to better respiratory efficiency.


The 8 Descriptions: Slow - Uniform - Calm - Continuous - Soft - Slender - Deep - Long.


This video provides music suitable for practicing breathing techniques for meditation and tai chi.




Peace


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